I started off 2014 thinking my only goal would be to get out and do more, which could be accomplished by the simple act of writing a blog. It seems obvious that writing about my life would motivate me to get out and live my life. I’ve realized, however, that I am not very effective at accomplishing much unless I set some SMART goals. (Source) After much deliberation, I’ve decided that 2014 is not a good year to run another marathon. I plan to complete a year-long counseling internship, plus stay at my job part-time, AND take one or two graduate-level classes. Adding marathon training into the mix will probably stress me out too much. Sometimes less is more. However, I still love running and hope to complete some smaller races. Shamrock Shuffle 8k My first big race of 2014 will definitely be the Shamrock Shuffle 8k (I am running a half marathon in 2 weeks – again, more on that soon – but it’s just for fun because I didn’t train very well). Last year, I ran the Shamrock Shuffle in 44:00. I plan to beat this time by modifying Hal Higdon’s intermediate training plan. I ran five half marathons last year and did poorly in nearly all of them due to a lack of structured training. Ricky Byrdsong 10k OR Rock n’ Sole Half Marathon I’ve run both of these races in the past and am having a really tough time choosing between them (they take place on the same weekend). The Ricky Byrdsong 10k is for a great cause and a big group of friends and family plan to run it. The Rock n’ Sole is on a great course and my good friend, Sara, and I had an awesome time last year – even with crappy weather. Either way, I intend to use a training plan (probably another modified Hal Higdon) after taking it easy for a week after the Shamrock Shuffle. Chicago Half Marathon I ran the Chicago Half Marathon for the first time last year and it was AMAZING. My only complaint is that I had a hard time figuring out the best way to get to the race. Living on the north side and commuting to the south side is harder than you’d think. The great thing about having this race on tap for the end of the summer and having another goal race at the beginning of the summer means that I’ll “have to” keep up with my workouts 😉 A random 5k race I’m hungry for a 5k PR; I haven’t had one since 2010 (26:48, for those who are curious). Who knows of a 5k worth doing in Chicago? I want to run for a good cause, but a good price as well. ——————————————————————————————————————- Racing is my favorite, but only when I know I’ve worked hard. My hope is to do fewer races this year, but put in a lot more training. Hopefully I can beat my PRs while I’m at it!